ICC Report

Portable Sacred Grounds
Telepresence World: Screenings

April 23rd, May 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th, and June 5th, 12th, 19th, 1998
ICC Theater

Viewed through the "doors of perception" of the screen, a program of 18 cinematic works (middle-length and shorts included) intended to touch upon the telepresent imagination depicted in audiovisual media (especially film) and to better highlight various dimensions of the Exhibition theme was shown in the ICC Theater. Selected by MINATO Chihiro, the works included films made over roughly 20 years in the 1910s and '20s, and again another 20 years from the latter half of the '70s to the present.

1) Stellan RYE and Paul WEGENER <<Der Student von Prag>> (The Student of Prague) (1913)
Portrays a man who has sold his mirror image to the Devil and so must come to face his own double. The interior shots make effective use of the mirror and minimum depth, which conversely creates a strange sense of space; the photograph and art direction are distinctive, making it seem as if we are here but looking and venturing into another space.
(Screened 5 times on April 23rd)

2) Dziga VERTOV <<Chelovek S Kinoapparatom>> (The Man with A Movie Camera) (1929)
A major work that broke new ground for news, documentaries, and also propaganda. The cameraman shot fragments of a single day in Moscow, and was involved in all aspects of the production from developing to editing to screening. The effective use of montage and special effects conversely attempt to clarify the essential qualities of the real world and that of the film medium. An extremely good 35mm print was shown.
(Screened 5 times on May 1st)

3) Robert FLAHERTY <<Nanook of the North>> (1922)
The world's first major documentary film, which nonetheless transcends the concept of the documentary. Shooting the life of an Eskimo in Canada at the time was as difficult as shooting on Mars today, yet overcoming all obstacles the result is filled with moving drama. Shown in sound version.
(Screened 3 times on May 8th)

4) Friedrich Wilhelm MURNAU <<Nosferatu>> (1922)
The first real vampire movie ever, a classic of German expressionist cinema. The otherworldly phenomenon of the vampire who assails from beyond time and space is depicted using special techniques such as frame-lapse and backwards photography and views through a microscope. A window to another world full of fear and uncertainty.
(Screened 2 times on May 15th)

5) Chris MARKER <<Sans Soleil>> (1982) Shown with Japanese narration. A cameraman travels camera-in-hand, thinking all the while about memory. He visits "two poles of living perpetuity," Africa and Japan, as well as Iceland. As the journey and film progress, geographical and temporal distance disappear until the meaning that emerges is one of film as memory and as forgetting. (Screened 4 times on May 22nd)

6) Danièle HUILLET and Jean-Marie STRAUB <<Cézanne>> (1989)
A landmark work of symbolistic imagery. The words that the filmmakers speak offscreen are imaginary conversation with CÉZANNE quoted from a critique by Joachim GASQUET. An exchange of memories spanning over 250 years interweaves everything from the philosophy of EMPEDOCLES, to excerpts from the film <<Madame Bovary>>, to extant paintings by CÉZANNE, to the buildings of the artists' village at Mont Sainte-Victoire.
(Screened 2 times on May 29th)

7) Victor MASAYESVA, Jr. <<Imagining Indians>> (1992)
A Native American filmmaker seeks to thrash out all the contradictions in the image of "Indians" as invented by cinematic history. The attempt becomes a "film critique" that questions the limits of depicting "another's culture," as well as how we are to transcend the loss of the "sacred" through being filmed.
(Screened 3 times on June 5th)

8) Bill VIOLA <<Déserts>> (1994) and <<Memories of Ancestral Power (The Moro Movement in the Solomon Islands)>> (1977); Charles and Ray EAMES <<Powers of Ten>> (1978)
<<Déserts>>--How can the memory of diving under water be kept alive in the desert? How can the expanse of the world outside be embraced in the confines of a room? Such are the interiorized visions of otherness made manifest through powers of imagination in this work.
<<Memories of Ancestral Power (The Moro Movement in the Solomon Islands)>>--An attempt to document the efforts of Solomon Islanders to preserve and pass on the traditions and memories of their ancestors, while at the same time trying to make the video images co-produced together with the subjects themselves function as a mnemonic system.
<<Powers of Ten>>--From infinitesimal to cosmic, seamless transitions of scale take us on a multidimensional visual journey in this masterpiece science short.
(Screened 5 times on June 12th)

9) ITO Takashi <<SPACY>> <<BOX>> <<THUNDER>> <<DRILL>> <<GHOST>> <<GRIM>> <<THE MOON>> <<ZONE>> (1981-95)
After the screening of eight short experimental films, an impromptu talk session was held between the artist, ITO Takashi and the program curator MINATO Chihiro. Among the topics discussed were ITO's motivation for filmmaking, and the techniques and technical problems of time-lapse and open-shutter (bulb) shooting. The audience could hear the artist make many memorable statements such as, "The explosion of my own self-compression gives <<SPACY>> its speed." Talk then traced the gradual shift in his creative style from "skewing the everyday look of things = sensibility" to "examining the unseen consciousness of self = memory," a topic which inadvertently shed light on an important aspect of MINATO's collaboration with MORIWAKI Hiroyuki <<Garden of Memory>> featured in the exhibition.
(Screened 5 times on June 19th)


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